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Leaf Colors Expected to Start Peaking at Higher Elevations Over the Next Few Days

Some vibrant leaf colors could be seen earlier this week in Beech Mountain, with more expected to peak in the coming days at higher elevations. Photo by Todd Bush.

By Harley Nefe

With all of the rainfall that the High Country has had this week, leaf colors should really start to brighten up at the higher elevations this week, according to the latest leaf color update from Appalachian State Biology Professor and “Fall Color Guy” Howard Neufeld. 

“October 9 and 10 should be fine for fall color viewing, and colors should be peaking then at the higher elevations and showing up better lower down. Once this low-pressure system moves out, I think we are in for a good fall foliage display this year,” Neufeld said in his latest color update posted earlier this week.

For locations around 3,000 feet in elevation, Neufeld said that the peak is still to come. 

“I don’t think peak color will hit this area for another 10-14 days. There are isolated trees with great color, but they are scattered and far and few between,” he said. 

Places like Grandfather Mountain, Elk Knob, Roan Mountain and elevations along the Blue Ridge Parkway around 4,000 feet near the Linville area will have their color peak in the next few days. The rest of the parkway, which ranges in elevation from 3,000 to 3,500 feet around Boone, Blowing Rock, Deep Gap and Phillips Gap, those colors are just now starting to change according to Neufeld. 

Overall, Neufeld expects that the next two weeks in the High Country will provide for some great fall foliage color for everyone to enjoy. With warmer and dryer weather returning to the forecast for all of next week, the color peak around Boone and the majority of the High Country might be delayed a few days.

Photo by Todd Bush